Provence, the Riviera & Tuscany

11 days
Make your way from the seaside in Provence to the rolling hills of Tuscany, taking in some of France and Italy’s most striking vistas as you go. Stroll down picturesque, tree-lined boulevards in Aix before heading to the coast, where the Mediterranean traces your route from Cassis to Cinque Terre. From admiring stunning seascapes and Renaissance art to indulging in regional cuisine, you’ll slow your pace and slip into a more laid-back lifestyle on this immersive journey.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Marseilles today.

Aix-en-Provence Region 3 nights

Day 2: Arrival in Aix-en-Provence

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to France! Arrive in Marseilles and transfer to Aix-en-Provence, where you’ll meet your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner this evening.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Aix-en-Provence

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set off on a walking tour of Aix-en-Provence, a Roman-influenced city and hometown of Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne.

• Stop at Cézanne’s birthplace, the school he attended, and the studio where many of his famous paintings came to light

• Visit Aix Cathedral, built on the site of a 1st-century Roman forum

Later, explore Aix-en-Provence on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - A Day in Arles $65pp* Details

Make your way to Arles, a picturesque Provençal city replete with extensive history and stunning vistas. This beautiful locale has long been a destination for artists, including famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. He created hundreds of masterpieces while living in Arles, and you’ll admire the landscapes and sites that inspired him on a guided tour with a local expert. Stroll through quaint streets and pass the city’s old hospital, where van Gogh stayed when his mental health started to decline. Then, learn more about Arles’ storied Roman history while exploring the UNESCO-listed Roman Arena. This amphitheater dates back to the 1st century B.C., and is one of many significant monuments in the city. Enjoy free time for lunch before making your way back to Aix-en-Provence this afternoon.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Day 4: Sénanque Abbey & Gordes

  Included meals: Breakfast

Start your morning browsing the stalls at Aix’s farmers’ market (seasonal). Then, admire stunning landscapes as you transfer through the Luberon Natural Park on your way to the hilltop village of Gordes. 

• Stop to enter the 12th-century Sénanque Abbey with a local guide, and learn how the monks cultivate the lavender that grows around the abbey (seasonal)

• Taste some regional olive oil before enjoying free time for lunch and shopping in Gordes, known as one of most beautiful villages in France

Tonight, explore Aix-en-Provence on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Provençal Dinner & Wine Tasting $99pp* Details

Travel to a rustic Provençal village outside of Aix-en-Provence. Start your evening with a wine tasting at a vineyard followed by dinner at a local restaurant, featuring the traditional herb-accented Provençal dishes for which the region is known.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

French Riviera 2 nights

Day 5: The French Riviera via Cassis

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, you’ll transfer to the French Riviera, stopping in the seaside town of Cassis.

• Embark on a short cruise to admire the city’s famous calanques, or narrow inlets

• Enjoy free time for lunch before continuing on to the French Riviera

Day 6: Cape Ferrat & Nice

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set out to explore the French Riviera today.

• Enjoy views of the Mediterranean Sea from the cliffs of Cape Ferrat

• Tour the Villa Ephrussi, a mansion built by a member of the Rothschild banking family, and stroll through the villa gardens 

• Stop to explore Nice’s Old Town on your own before returning to your hotel

Enjoy a free evening on the French Riviera or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Medieval Saint-Paul-de-Vence & Provençal Dinner $125pp* Details

Saint Paul de Vence landscape

Make your way to Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a celebrity haven and one of the oldest villages on the French Riviera. Upon arrival, your Tour Director will introduce you to its rich medieval history and wonderful art scene on a guided tour. Pass Place du Jeu de Boules, Porte de Vence, Place de la Grande Fontaine, and the Collegiate Church before stopping at Maison Bremond 1830 to sample local culinary specialties. Then, sit down to a meal of delicious Provençal flavors. After sampling tapenade and Pastis, an anise-flavored apéritif, enjoy a three-course dinner served with wine. Please note: This excursion involves difficult walking on uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets with some hills and stairs. We recommend wearing a comfortable pair of walking shoes.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $135)

Lucca Region 2 nights

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Cinque Terre

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to the Lucca region in Italy today. Stop along the way to discover Cinque Terre, a UNESCO-recognized collection of  villages that hug the Italian coastline. 

• Board a train and take in breathtaking ocean views as you travel to one of Cinque Terre’s five villages (Please note: If time allows, some groups may visit a second village as well.)

• Enjoy free time to eat lunch and wander through the village’s quaint alleyways

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Lucca

  Included meals: Breakfast

Known for its Renaissance-era walls, the town of Lucca sits in the heart of Tuscany. You’ll get to know it on a guided tour. 

• Walk along a section of the city’s walls and learn about their illustrious history

• Take in impressive views of the classic red-tiled rooftops, medieval churches, and swathe of cypress trees below

• Descend into the center of town to view the Palazzo Pfanner, Guinigi Tower, and Basilica of San Frediano

• Enter San Martino Cathedral and San Michel in Foro, a basilica known for its intricately inlaid facade

Explore a free evening to explore Lucca on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Leaning Tower of Pisa $79pp* Details

Travel through the Tuscan countryside for a visit to Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles). You’ll see the famed Leaning Tower and enjoy a tour of the adjacent cathedral and the Baptistery of St. John.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Florence 2 nights

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Florence this morning. With a local as your guide, get to know the birthplace of the Renaissance as you make your way through the UNESCO-recognized historic center.

• Visit the legendary Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo

• Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture

• Walk past Piazza della Repubblica to the medieval Ponte Vecchio

• Stroll along the Arno River and through the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery to Piazza della Signoria, center of Florentine life

Enjoy a free evening in Florence or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Carthusian Monastery Tour & Tuscan Feast $99pp* Details

Venture into the Tuscan hills for a unique and unforgettable dining experience. After a private tour of the ancient Carthusian Monastery, sit down for a musical performance and feast of traditional Tuscan fare, much of which has been grown at the monastery itself.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Day 10: Free day in Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend a full free day in Florence exploring on your own or add an excursion.

Tonight, celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner with your group.

Optional Excursion - Siena & Chianti Wine Tasting $119pp* Details

Visit the UNESCO-listed Tuscan hilltown of Siena for a guided tour of it’s medieval sites. Enter the city’s 13th-century cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece. It boasts a 56-panel marble mosaic floor, which was completed over a span of almost 200 years, and which is only displayed in its entirety between August and October each year. Marvel at Pinturicchio’s frescoes in the adjoining Piccolomini Library, which was built for Pope Pius II. Delve into the city’s most important sport as you stroll through Piazza del Campo, site of the annual Palio horse race. Then, journey to Chianti to learn about Italy’s wine culture and tradition of agriturismo. Enjoy picturesque views on a winery tour, then taste three of the winery’s most distinctive labels paired with antipasti and crostini.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $129)

Day 11: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • French Riviera, France
  • Florence, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

  • This tour visits France and Italy. In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. 
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.    

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills and stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in included walks without assistance. Adding excursions may increase the amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of trains and boats.
  • If you have mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team. 

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Marseilles and depart from Florence. When you first arrive, a Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • A boat ride in Cassis and train ride in Cinque Terre are included in the price of your tour.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. 

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.  Clothing & packing tips
  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour. 
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.

Cuisine

  • For a picnic with French flair, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, pâtés, cured meats, fresh-baked bread, and fruit. In the cities, sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crepes, while mouthwatering pastries and hot café au lait beckon from cafes. In restaurants, the prix fixe option is a popular way to enjoy a set three- or four-course menu for a good price.
  • On the Italian Riviera, a taste of the region’s famous basil pesto is a must. Luscious seafood dishes are popular along the shore, but true Ligurians favor simple, traditional recipes like minestrone soup and farinata, an unleavened chickpea pancake.  
  •  Tuscany is world-famous for its wine, oil, sauces, and pasta. Menus favor subtle, lighter pastas and desserts made with nuts, fruit, and honey. Try a dish featuring the region’s Chianina beef, perhaps the most prized breed of cattle in all of Italy. For wine, popular Tuscan reds include Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Electricity & air conditioning

  • France and Italy operate on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C, E, or F plugs with two small, round pins. 
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.  
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel. 
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.   
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time zones

  • France and Italy are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).   
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.

Currency

  • You will use the euro on your tour. 
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. 
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. 
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7 USD/CAD to $10 USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. 
  • Tips can only be paid in cash. 

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • If you have not yet purchased your optional excursions, you may be able to do so while on tour. 
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions. 
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more

Museums

  • If you are interested in visiting any of Florence’s many museums during your free time, we recommend that you make reservations in advance. See uffizi.org for the Uffizi Gallery or accademia.org for the Accademia Gallery. Please note that the museums are closed on Mondays.

International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates and prices.

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